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Breaking Down Victor Cruz’s 80-Yard TD

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At the New York Times this year, I will be posting a weekly breakdown of the week’s top play. This week, I broke down Victor Cruz’s 80-yard touchdown in the Giants’ win over the Bucs. Why should you care about Victor Cruz, you ask? Well the Cowboys do need to play the guy at least one more time, and I have a feeling he won’t drop 25 passes in the second matchup.

Down by 27-19 with 6:59 left, the Giants faced a third-and-2 at their 20-yard line. They lined up in a shotgun spread formation with “11” personnel: one running back and one tight end. Tight end Martellus Bennett was lined up in the slot to the boundary and Victor Cruz was in the slot to the wide side of the field.

Before the snap, the Bucs showed a blitz despite their two-high-safety look. As Eli Manning progressed through his snap count, the Bucs’ linebackers continued to creep toward the line, as did safety Ronde Barber.

Let’s take a step back and examine Manning’s cadence. I think it’s essential to understanding what happened. Before the snap, you could catch Manning’s verbiage on the television broadcast: “Red 19, Red 19, set hut. 59’s the Mike, 59’s the Mike. Bingo. Omaha, Omaha, set hut.”

When the Giants run a play with a traditional snap count, they snap the ball after Manning’s first “set hut.” If Manning had called the play and then uttered “on one” in the huddle, the ball would have been snapped following the first “set hut.”

Read the entire breakdown at NY Times.

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